Tools for Genomic and Transcriptomic Analysis of Microbes at Single-Cell Level.

Tools for Genomic and Transcriptomic Analysis of Microbes at Single-Cell Level.

Front Microbiol. 2017;8:1831

Authors: Chen Z, Chen L, Zhang W

Abstract
Microbiologists traditionally study population rather than individual cells, as it is generally assumed that the status of individual cells will be similar to that observed in the population. However, the recent studies have shown that the individual behavior of each single cell could be quite different from that of the whole population, suggesting the importance of extending traditional microbiology studies to single-cell level. With recent technological advances, such as flow cytometry, next-generation sequencing (NGS), and microspectroscopy, single-cell microbiology has greatly enhanced the understanding of individuality and heterogeneity of microbes in many biological systems. Notably, the application of multiple ‘omics’ in single-cell analysis has shed light on how individual cells perceive, respond, and adapt to the environment, how heterogeneity arises under external stress and finally determines the fate of the whole population, and how microbes survive under natural conditions. As single-cell analysis involves no axenic cultivation of target microorganism, it has also been demonstrated as a valuable tool for dissecting the microbial ‘dark matter.’ In this review, current state-of-the-art tools and methods for genomic and transcriptomic analysis of microbes at single-cell level were critically summarized, including single-cell isolation methods and experimental strategies of single-cell analysis with NGS. In addition, perspectives on the future trends of technology development in the field of single-cell analysis was also presented.

PMID: 28979258 [PubMed]

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